cor·​ro·​sive | \ kə-ˈrō-siv How to pronounce corrosive (audio) , -ziv \

Definition of corrosive

1 : tending or having the power to corrode corrosive acids corrosive action the corrosive effects of alcoholism
2 : bitingly sarcastic corrosive satire

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Other Words from corrosive

corrosive noun
corrosively adverb
corrosiveness noun

Examples of corrosive in a Sentence

She argues that racism is dangerous and corrosive to society. a corrosive satire on the fashion industry and its movers and shakers
Recent Examples on the Web The former mine leaches water more corrosive than battery acid that also contains large amounts of zinc, copper and cadmium. NBC News, "Wildfires fueled by climate change threaten toxic Superfund sites," 23 Dec. 2020 This damaged the United States’ image as a global leader, especially given Trump’s corrosive domestic behavior. Justin Sherman, Wired, "The Biden Administration Will Have Its Hands Full With Russia," 13 Dec. 2020 According to a news release, Enviro-Master uses a non-toxic, non-corrosive and food-safe germicide that's dispensed from an electrostatic sprayer, basically the equivalent of a proton pack for germs. Slone Terranella, Detroit Free Press, "Ghostbusters-style cleaning service kills germs in drive-thru setting in Detroit," 3 Dec. 2020 This rhetorical mode is usually reserved for people who are not in charge of anything and who can put it to righteous purposes as easily as corrosive ones. New York Times, "The Tactic of Our Time: Sound Urgent, Be Incomprehensible," 17 Dec. 2020 Finally, there’s the broader national problem: This alienation is corrosive to American life. Timothy P. Carney, Washington Examiner, "American alienation in 2020," 3 Dec. 2020 Nevertheless, Trump’s refusal to concede has had a corrosive effect. Brian Barrett, Wired, "Not Even William Barr Buys Trump’s Election Nonsense," 1 Dec. 2020 But no one else has entertained the corrosive tactics Mr. Trump has sought to employ. Alexander Burns, New York Times, "Trump Stress-Tested the Election System, and the Cracks Showed," 24 Nov. 2020 If the steady encroachment of soft secular totalitarianism in public schools is to be halted, the conservative legal movement will have to set about dismantling the corrosive precedents of progressive jurisprudence. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, "Classroom Busybodies Ban a ‘Jesus Loves Me’ Mask," 13 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'corrosive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of corrosive

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for corrosive

Middle English corrosif, borrowed from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Medieval Latin corrōsīvus, from Latin corrōsus, past participle of corrōdere "to gnaw, corrode" + -īvus -ive

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Time Traveler for corrosive

Time Traveler

The first known use of corrosive was in the 14th century

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Statistics for corrosive

Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Corrosive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for corrosive


How to pronounce corrosive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of corrosive

: causing damage to metal or other materials through a chemical process
: causing someone or something to become weak and damaged


cor·​ro·​sive | \ kə-ˈrō-siv How to pronounce corrosive (audio) , -ziv \

Kids Definition of corrosive

: tending or able to destroy, weaken, or wear away little by little corrosive substances


cor·​ro·​sive | \ -ˈrō-siv, -ziv How to pronounce corrosive (audio) \

Medical Definition of corrosive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: tending or having the power to corrode corrosive acids a corrosive gas

Other Words from corrosive

corrosiveness noun



Medical Definition of corrosive (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance that corrodes : caustic

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